New Okuma 350 Low-Profile Baitcast Reels: Drop The Hammer

General Motors introduced the small block 350 in 1967.  Since that time, it’s become the performance standard for speed, power and durability. Surprisingly, it’s taken more than 45 years for the fishing industry to catch up, and for Okuma to release its 350, achieving the pinnacle of speed, power and performance.

Komodo 350

Refined and compact overall, there’s no missing Komodo’s massive drop down gear case. Holding a giant stainless steel main gear, the system offers plenty of room for an inspiring Carbonite drag system, capable of delivering up to 25-pounds of max drag. And to make that drag pressure usable, the levelwind on both Komodo and Citrix are synchronized with spool revolutions as line is both taken in and going out. This feature keeps the levelwind aligned with line on the spool at all times, especially important when fishing high-power braids on hard-running fish as sharp angles in the levelwind system increases actual drag pressure immensely and can lead to break offs.

Engines are most often discussed in regards to horsepower, and the word is also fitting here.  For the Komodo 350, horsepower would be an exceptional combination of line capacity (230-yards of 14-pound monofilament and similar amount of 50-pound braid), 25-pounds of drag output, and stainless steel main gear, pinion gear and drive shaft.  Turn the crank to throttle up and the high-speed 6.4:1 gear ratio eats up 31-inches of line with every turn of the handle.

The great ones are defined by more than the engine, it’s the total package, and here the Komodo 350 does not disappoint. The A6061-T6 machined aluminum spool casts effortlessly, riding on ABEC-5 spool bearings as a standard feature instead of an upgrade. To tame more freespool than most anglers require, the 7-position velocity control system dials-in spool breaking for exact needs.

Overall, the bearing system includes 11 bearings overall, ten High Performance stainless steel bearings and one roller bearing.  Still, when you turn the handle, you’ll feel the gears.  Consider it the low rumble of a sports car’s exhaust, there’s a lot of power in the stainless, there if you need it. Hook-sets and battles are backed by dual anti-reverse systems because redundancy is good when your tied to the fish of a lifetime.

All dressed up, the question is where to go.  Saltwater approved, the Komodo 350 was designed to take on trophy stripers, angry jacks, big bull reds and full gamut of powerful inshore species.  It’s equally at home on freshwater, taking down giant musky, more stripers, trophy largemouth and big cats. When it comes to freshwater, however, the Citrix 350 is an equally formidable option.

Constructed on the exact same platform as Komodo, the Citrix 350 replaces stainless gearing with heavy-duty Dura Brass and drops 10 bearings to eight.  Like Komodo, it still features an aluminum frame, aluminum spool, rigid aluminum handle side side plate and the identical tonnage of line capacity and drag output.

Citrix 350

An overhead shot reveals expansive capacity for monofilament or braid as well a revealing that Citrix, as well as Komodo, is available in left hand retrieve with a massive optional power handle.

One key deviation in the Citrix is the availability of a lower 5.4:1 gear ratio in addition to the high-speed 6.4:1.  Northwest salmon anglers that commonly troll 10- to 16-ounces of lead, big divers and the like will appreciate the extra cranking power, as will the giant catfish anglers.

While on the subject of cranking power, both Komodo and Citrix 350’s are available in both right and left hand retrieve. When it’s time to bear down, you have the option of using your best cranking hand instead of playing the proverbial monkey on the football.  Additionally, both Citrix and Komodo are available with a Power Handle as an upgrade to the standard dual paddle handles.

Be on the lookout for more from this 350 platform. From an excellent foundation, many models will come, just like the cars and trucks.  These reels fit the hand amazingly well, delivering comfort and confidence, and the combination of capacity, strength, speed and power suits an incredible number of fisheries as you explore the potential of the 350.

Quest for Big Bass at Lake El Salto

On Monday, November 18th, Okuma’s Sam Brenner and I departed Los Angeles International airport destined for Mazatlán, Mexico. On arrival in Mazatlán we met up with our guests Woody Wood, West Coast sales rep for Okuma Fishing Tackle. He was accompanied by our special guest and former professional bass angler John Bidwell of Fisherman’s Warehouse tackle, located in Northern California. All four of us were greeted at baggage claim by Hono Elizalde, owner/operator of El Salto Adventures to start our trip.

Sam with El Salto topwater bass

Sam Brenner, Okuma Vice President of Sales and Marketing, displays one of many eager topwater bass.

Author John Bretza with El Salto Bass

Okuma Director of Product Development and author John Bretza with healthy El Salto bass.

As we loaded our bags and hit the road on a two hour drive destined for the world famous lake, our quest for big bass grew closer. The anticipation and excitement of all four anglers continued to grow as we exited the highway and pulled down a long dirt road. While getting knocked around on the uneven dirt road, we could see a set of lights come into focus in the distance. On approach it was obvious we were not pulling into the Ritz, rather a rustic old world Mexican charm that made this trip so unique and special. As the sun dropped down over the lake and disappeared behind the mountains it was truly pitch black, without a hint of city lights on the lake or in the sky.

The glow of a fire just behind the lodge’s kitchen drew us to the eating area, where Hono and Chef Susie treated us to barbecued steaks and freshly made chips and salsa. The hospitality was exceptionally welcoming. They go the extra mile to make sure that each individual angler was taken care of. It was a great way to kick off the trip and get in the right mindset prior to rigging our tackle for the early morning fishing.

In preparation for the morning events, each boat was well equipped with new Okuma TCS and Helios rods, as well as the latest Helios Air, Helios and Citrix reels. The tackle boxes were overflowing with Savage Gear lures, especially the Top Prey, Sand Eels, Sand Eel Slug and Vibra Prey which have all been proven performers on the lake. With the equipment prepped and anglers ready to rock and roll, we got a short 5 hours of sleep, meeting for a hot breakfast at 5:30am. The meal prepped us for a long day of fishing. A short 50 yard walk in the dark really surprised us, arriving to find two 18-foot Ranger bass boats rigged with Lowrance electronics and Mercury outboards sitting under the lights and ready to take us fishing. All four of us have fished El Salto previously, but the guides have always fished from basic aluminum boats, so this was quite an unexpected treat.

Okuma Fishing Tackle and Savage Gear lures

Each angler would be prepared with an elite level arsenal of equipment.

Grave Sites

Submerged tombstones remind anglers of the submerged city that lies beneath the surface of El Salto.

As we pulled away from the dock in the dark we heard Omar, the lodge handyman yell out “Buenas Suerte”. It was not long before we were fishing as the spot we started at was literally 100 yards from the dock. The first thing we noticed was the famous tombstones that anglers always mention about El Salto, partially exposed in the lake. Lake El Salto was a former town that was flooded by lake construction and all the structures we were fishing was remnants of the city such as the cemetery, houses and school. Hono yelled out, cast the Top Prey toward the Escuela and the action started. Sam and I were in the boat with Hono and we started by throwing Savage Gear Top Prey lures and using a “walk the dog” technique to draw surface strikes. We had several blow-ups on the baits which got our hearts pumping, but it was a strange feeling to think we were casting at half submerged schools and tombstones. It is this type of history and structure that make El Salto truly unique.

John Bidwell of Fisherman's Warehouse with a hefty carolina rig bass.

John Bidwell of Fisherman’s Warehouse with a hefty carolina rig bass.

Woody Wood with El Salto largemouth bass.

Woody Wood hangs a beautiful El Salto bass for the camera.

Woody and John started the day with a different approach. Rather than hammering the shoreline with topwater baits, they started throwing Vibra Preys, picking off a few fish and then their guide Jerry said, “Carolina rig”. These guys fished in 30-feet of water just in front of the resort and found the honey hole. It was Watermelon Sandeel Slug and prototype Savage Gear lizard that were the hot baits. On the radio we heard them report 5-pound fish right off the bat. Woody and John camped out on two spots in the same general area all day and finished with about 60 fish for day one. On the other boat, Sam and I finished day one with just under 40 fish, but the quality level of bigger fish went to John and Woody. Both boats averaged fish in the 3-lbs range, but big fish of the day went to Woody with a 7-pounder.

On day two the schedule was the same, but after talking with all the guys we realized that fishing was tough compared to El Salto standards that guys were used to when they come in the May and June time frames. Fishing in November is always a little slower, but there are always opportunities for quality bass. In addition, we were fishing on a full moon and battling Tilapia nets on every spot. These obstacles made us have to fish even harder and in the end we did well considering the conditions. Sam and I wanted to target big bass on top water again, knowing the numbers may be smaller, but there was a chance to see some big explosions on the surface. I got my biggest fish of the trip on day two, with a 5-pounder and Sam also nailed his largest fish at 4-1/2 pounds. The Top Prey was working and we missed some other truly big fish that exploded on the baits, but just missed the hooks. Our guide and friend Hono was also fishing with us and his Top Prey flew out of the water with an 8-pound bass connected to it, trumping Sam and I. It was awesome seeing these big fish blow up on topwater baits.

Hono with El Salto largemouth bass

Hono lands a slug on the surface with a Savage Gear Top Prey.

Woody and John had another great day on the water with very similar results on the Carolina rig. It was obvious that in order to get numbers you had to go deep and slowly drag the bottom. Not only were there more fish being caught with this technique, the fish were also bigger. John Bidwell commented that night at dinner that this was the best fishing trip he has ever had for multiple quality-sized fish. After fishing two days John had already recorded 7-pound, 8-pound, 9-pound-plus and 10-pound-plus fish. Quite an accomplishment even for a former tournament bass fisherman with several major wins under his belt. It was a great feeling hearing John say this was the best fishing trip he has had for multiple big fish.

Our third and final day of fishing came and we were all excited to see what would develop, especially since we all figured out what the fish were chewing on. Of course Woody and John stuck to their trusted Carolina rig that was a proven producer on the lake this trip, turning in similar result to days one and two. After a morning shot at topwater, Sam and I told Hono we were changing to a Carolina rig to put some numbers in the boat. As Sam was tying on his rig, I fired out a pearl Sand Eel working a ledge and it was an instant fish. Another cast and then another, all producing fish.

Savage Gear Top Prey

Savage Gear Top Prey in one of the many dozens of aggressive topwater fish.

It appeared we may have found the spot we were looking for. Sam finally got the watermelon lizard in the water and before he even dropped the bait down it got hit resting at the surface. It was obvious these fish wanted to chew and we pulled good numbers out of this hole on lizards, Sandeel Slugs and Sandeels. We had some bigger fish busting around the boat, but they were reluctant to hit anything on the surface.This was a mid-day bite in the extreme heat. As the day was slowly coming to an end, Hono said, “let’s see if we can finish off the trip with a top water bite”.

We headed back to an area where I had a lot of luck fishing the Sandeel Slug with the darter head. This was an area just off a cliff where the fish were holding. Sam and I both broke out Top Prey’s in the bone color and it did not take long. We finished off the trip with about a one hour long topwater bite. No monsters, but it was truly fun getting fish after fish on the topwater. We fished this into the dark until we ran out of light for the run back to the lodge.

Main Lodge

Under the beautiful desert skies, the resort offers an experience far away from any distractions.

El Salto is truly a bucket list trip for any angler.  It is a unique fishery that really gives you a shot at both numbers and quality fish. For a company like Okuma Fishing Tackle and Savage Gear, this destination offers us great testing grounds for our tackle with multiple hookups and big fish. Hono Elizalde, official Okuma product tester on this lake allows us to put our tackle to the test on a daily basis. If you are ever looking for a great experience fishing bass in Mexico, El Salto is a destination you should definitely look into.

Mark Romanack’s Essential Walleye Rod and Reel Combinations

For every fishing situation there is a combination of fishing rod, reel and line that’s “perfect.” In other words, for the specific application, the rod and reel combination do everything right. It’s balanced, both in the hand and with regard to power. If the technique requires sensitivity, the rod delivers. If it’s a trolling application, the rod action and reel’s features and performance enhance success.
Mark Romanack, Jigging Walleye

It’s no secret that the number one essential rod and reel for walleyes is a jig stick.

Through direct contact between members of our Product Development and Pro-Staff teams, new product releases like Dead Eye walleye fishing rods and reels, or Cold Water line counter reels approach fisheries from a broad view, then break them down into their unique characteristics and angler techniques.  What follows are technique-specific products with actions, powers, capacities and features that are constructed to excel in these environments.  Within Dead Eye walleye fishing rods, that selection now includes 30 specific rod models for everything from jigging, to trolling bottom bouncers to big board rods and “slow-death” rods.

This is great for the serious angler.  The deep availability of options allow many choices to fit personal preferences.  For the more recreational angler, however, too many options can lead to confusion, and nobody benefits from that.
For anglers that simply need a place to begin on the best footing, or any angler looking to cost-effectively increase their walleye rod and reel selection, we asked Okuma Pro-Staff member and host of Fishing 411 television, Mark Romanack, to detail his walleye fishing systems. The goal is to provide a place to begin, and a plan to effectively add depth to the selection.
Romanack detailed eight walleye rod and reel combinations, beginning with what he views as “essentials” and advancing from there.
These first three combinations are, as described, the essential, day-in day-out workhorse walleye rods and reels Romanack relies upon.

1) Dead Eye DE-S-701ML rod (7-foot for 4-10# line) matched to new Dead Eye DE-25 spinning reel and 10-pound test super braid. This essential walleye fishing rod and reel is perhaps the most universal combo an angler can own. This single set up is ideal for pitching jigs tipped with soft plastics or live bait, it’s also perfect for casting slip bobbers, casting small crankbaits, slip sinker rigging and for vertical jigging with up to 3/8-ounce jigs.

2) Dead Eye DE-C-861M-T rod (8’6″ telescopic for 6-15# line) matched to the new Cold Water 203D line counter reel, loaded with 12# test monofilament. This rod and reel combination is ideal for trolling with both standard sized and mini in-line planer boards used in combination with crankbaits, spinners or spoons. The backbone of this rod is matched perfectly to handling the resistance of planer boards and trophy sized walleye. This workhorse trolling rod can also be used for trolling lead core line and bottom bouncers. The telescopic feature of this rod allows it to store nicely in the rod locker of any fishing boat.

Cold Water Line Counter Reels

New Cold Water Line Counter reels are available in sizes 15 and up, in both right and left hand retrieve.

3) Dead Eye DE-CBR861M-T bottom bouncer rod (8’6″ telescopic for 6-20# line) matched to the Akena-250 round baitcasting reel loaded with 12# monofilament. The ultimate set up for fishing bottom bouncers and if any rod and reel combination deserves to be designated to a single presentation, it’s bottom bouncing with spinner rigs. Among walleye tournament anglers bottom bouncing with spinners is considered the “money rig” as this simple presentation produces walleye in just about every body of water in North America. The Dead Eye telescopic bottom bouncer rod stores easily in the rod locker of any fishing boat and quickly expands to provide the perfect soft tip action needed for pulling bottom bouncers ranging in size from 1/2- to 3-ounces.

Romanack calls these next three walleye fishing systems “important.”  Not essential, but very nice to have to round out your technique on different water bodies.

4) Dead Eye DE-CSD-1062M Slow Death rod (10’6″ for 8-17# line) matched with a Citrix Ci254v low profile baitcasting reel and 10-12 pound test monofilament. The Slow Death presentation is practiced with a bottom bouncer, 4′ fluorocarbon leader and a single Mustad Slow Death hook baited with half a nightcrawler. This unique presentation catches walleye when other presentations will not. The extra length and super slow action of the Slow Death rod makes this set up especially deadly. The length is important because the Slow Death presentation is normally practiced with a pair of rods positioned in rod holders on either side of the boat. Bites are detected by monitoring the soft rod tip, which loads up when a fish is hooked. The soft action also makes it especially difficult for hooked fish to escape.

Trolling planer boards.

The Dead Eye rod series offers many options for planer boards and open water trolling.

5) Dead Eye DE-CBB-701ML Big Board Rod (7′ for 10-20# line) matched with a Cold Water 203D line counter reel and 12# monofilament or 30# super braid line. Fishing with a planer board mast and ski system requires a rod and reel set up specific to that presentation. The Big Board Rod is short enough to make it easy to reach the rod tip and grab the line which is in turn placed in a line release and attached to the tether line connecting the board to the mast. Secondly, the Big Board Rod features a soft tip that enables the angler to detect hooked fish by noticing an obvious bend in the rod tip. Thirdly, the Big Board Rod has enough backbone to fight stubborn fish flawlessly. Any angler who prefers to troll using a mast system will appreciate the value of the Big Board Rod. Line counter reels like the Cold Water series are invaluable to this style of trolling. Lead lengths are varied and monitored closely. When a fish is landed using a specific lead length, the line counter reel makes it easy to duplicate a productive lead length to other rods.

6) Dead Eye DE-CAP-701M-T All Purpose Baitcasting Rod (7′ for 8-17# line) matched with a Akena-250 round baitcasting reel and 12# test monofilament or 30# test super braid. This 7′ medium action baitcasting outfit will handle a lot of walleye fishing chores including fishing bottom bouncers as a hand-held rod, fishing jigging spoons or blade baits, casting crankbaits, flat-line trolling chores and trolling applictions involving mini in-line planer boards. Because this rod is telescopic it travels well and will fit in the rod locker of any fishing boat. The All Purpose Baitcasting Rod does a lot of things well and fills a unique niche among walleye anglers.

These final two walleye combinations fill in for special situations or provide extensions to specific techniques.

7) Dead Eye DE-601MHFRT spinning rod (6′ for 8-17# line) with Dead Eye DE-25 spinning reel and 10-15# test super braid line. The six foot one piece MH action Dead Eye spinning rod is ideal for some specialized jig fishing applications including rip jigging in weed cover and vertical jigging with heavy jigs often used in deep or swift rivers like the Columbia, Detroit and St. Clair Rivers. For vertical jigging applications the 10# test super braid is the perfect line option. For rig jigging, a little heavier 15# test super braid is a little tougher and better able to tear through weed cover without abrasion issues. In both cases using a short fluorocarbon leader of 8- to10-pound test is a good option.

8) Dead Eye DE-C-701M Dead Eye Crankbait rod (7′ for 10-20# line) matched with the Citrix Ci-254v slow speed (5.4:1) baitcasting reel and 10# test fluorocarbon line. This soft action fiberglass rod is designed for casting medium sized crankbaits, but is also useful for several other presentations. This same rod is a good choice for hand holding a bottom bouncer rig while fishing off the bow of the boat with an electric motor, structure trolling lead core line set ups in rivers or along meandering bottom structure and in a pinch this rod is also a good option for trolling crankbaits or spinners with in-line planer boards.
As gear becomes more technique-specific, there will always remain a core, highly versatile set of rods and reels that have proven themselves to be the most used, most productive gear on the water.
Mark Romanack

The best results come from beginning with a core selection of balanced rod and reel combinations, then adding as angler technique and interest increases.

Citrix Rods and Reels-Uncensored

When you want an honest answer, it’s sometimes difficult to find the right person to ask. When Citrix rods and reels were introduced for 2011, our Pro-Staffers were ecstatic, they’d tested and had input in the development of the products. But we wanted to find out how top recreational anglers felt. The guys without the relationships, buddy deals and swag that goes along with some of the touring pros. We turned to the group at ultimatebass.com for some no-holds-barred third-party input.
This group is made up of the guys on the water next to you. They work Monday-Friday so they can fish on Saturday. When laying down the bucks for gear, every decision is a serious one. Ron Fogelson and a few others stepped up to put Citrix rods and reels through their paces. What follows is Ron’s review. For depth, thoughtfulness and thoroughness, we wish all reviews were this well done. And if you’re wondering, yes, we’ve made a few in-line changes based upon the information received.

Written by Ron Fogelson
Tuesday, 26 July 2011 05:00
Back on February 23, 2011 I received two packages from Okuma Fishing Tackle as stated in my first article regarding this set up “Okuma Fishing Rod/Reel first impression”. The rod and reel were packaged very well with extra care to ensure both the rod tip and butt were protected with reinforcement inside a solid shipping tube. The Citrix Low profile 7.3-1 high speed reel was in its original reel box and placed in a second shipping box and packed just as secure. Both arrived safe, without damage and shipping was quick.

My preliminary point of view was the reel wanted to roll slightly to the right as I held it in my left hand. Please keep in mind that I’m left handed so with the natural position of the reel rolling to some extent to the right I’d hoped I could flip without having the line tangle in the reel handle as it sometimes does with other reels. Also, the rod was rated by Okuma as Medium Heavy for line 10 to 20 lbs and lure weight of ¼ to 1 ounce so the first thing I did was rig it for punching. This was a mistake as the action of the rod and tip speed proved “at least for me” that this was not the ideal application for this combo. Although it was more than able to handle the load and size of the ¾ ounce weight casting I found while flipping or pitching with any bait above about one ½ ounce caused the tip to slingshot my lure skyward.

Author Ron Fogelson

It is sometimes difficult to compare rods as the blank/bait specific action/price point/materials and building technique all vary from company to company. It is of my opinion the citrix rod is on par than say a like type crucial rod, yet I found it lighter and better balanced than the same. Whereas Okuma’s ratting is of a Medium Heavy if I put it head to head with a crucial I’d have to match it more to a Medium crank bait rod yet it is still $40.00 less and has proven to hold its own in strength and durability and has the back bone to keep and retain control of fish bigger than you might expect when holding the rod for the first time. I’d like to praise Okuma for the aluminum reel seat threads, it is a great feature, but I’ve found that unless you snug them down quite hard the large threads tend to back off; letting the reel feel loose. Again I think the aluminum reel seat threads are way above par but would recommend they opt for a thinner tighter thread pattern.
The trigger in my humble opinion is about one half inch to far back on the rod. With the compact design of the reel, I find that the combo is difficult to hold over the course of a full day of fishing. I’m able to fit both my middle and ring finger in front of the rod trigger while with other rods only my middle finger is resting on the trigger. Also, the trigger when I first got my hands on this rod were very smooth where the two sections were joined together and stated so in my initial review. However, having to crank down on the aluminum reel seat so much to ensure it stopped backing off I’ve found a gap to be forming. It appears as the trigger has separated a bit but to risk sounding like a broken record on the subject I believe retooling the threads to a smaller tighter pattern will fix both issues.
The use of EVA foam is in contention from angler to angler. I normally prefer cork but that is based on my preference and that, over the years, I’ve found EVA to vary so much from rod to rod. Some times it’s way too soft and the sun makes it crumble over a short time. Or, it is so firm that it’s just too hard to keep a confident grip on the rod while in use. For me, the Citrix EVA foam was very comfortable, firm and has a tacky kind of feel; however, I found it a tad short for my liking and it tapers in at an abrupt rate so with bigger hands it feels like part of the grip is missing.
I remain impressed by the sensitivity of the rod and for a light weight blank it has the back bone to put good fish in the boat. I have found that it is an all around rod at home with top waters like a spook/PopR/chug bug as well as moving baits like a swim jig/rattle traps/vibrashocks/square bill crank baits and spinner baits along with light 1/4oz and under rigged soft plastics and for me excels as my wacky rigged flick shake or weightless fluke rod.
As far as the Citrix reel, I found and still believe that, for a high speed application, I’d buy this reel before I picked up another Curado. I’m not saying I believe the Citrix is that much better, rather I no longer believe the Curado is worth the additional price just for a high speed reel. The reel was and remains smooth as can be the handles are large and comfortable if not a little to firm for my taste. I am fond of the swept in drag star because I’ve found that while palming the reel “left hand” I’m able to reach under the rod and reel with my middle finger to engage the reel out of free spool to be ready for the hook set while pitching or flipping wacky rigged a Hatch Match Stick “Stick Bait” without having to let go of the line and use the handle to do so. I do like the big paddle style grips on the reel handle. However, I wish there was a little more flexibility to the material or were made with a tacky texture. In the heat of the day, or when my hands get wet lipping a fish or in the rain, they are a little bit slippery.
The Citrix reel is a lot of fun to use, it casts very well, and I’ve not had a single issue with its performance. It remains as smooth today as it first did back in February. The drag is strong and even when fighting a larger fish and has handled the surges at the boat with ease. I had some slight worries as the handle and star drag stick out a bit farther from the frame than other reels that I use. However, with the handle and star drag being swept back to the reel, I’m pleased that I can still (while holding the reel in my left hand) engage the reel with my middle finger by turning the drag star or handle as soon as the bait hits the water; without having to take my right hand off the line to do so.
The external centrifugal brake design is a fantastic option, very easy to set up and adjust on the fly with changing weather conditions or baits adjustments and is a highlight of this reel. The brakes are adjusted with a dial like with magnetic brake reels but uses the External adjustable centrifugal cast control system. Giving you get the speed and ease of adjustment of magnetics with the strength and time proven reliability of centrifugal brakes.
Over all, I believe that both the rod and reel are a good buy at the $119.00 price point. You are getting a quality rod and reel, that fishes as good as it looks for a reasonable amount of money. If you would like to upgrade or are a seasoned angler and want to add a combo to your line up without breaking the bank, Okuma, might have what you are looking for. I know full well I was picky on the few things I brought up, but when I do a review I’m equally as brutal with the products as I am with any praise if any are warranted because I’m very hard on my equipment and understand the difficulties we all face when looking to part with our hard earned money on the slew of fishing gear, tackle & accessories on the market. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the rod, reel or the pair as a combo to add to your line up because I believe Okuma understands the meaning of value.
See You on the water.
Ronald Fogelson
Ultimatebass.com Administrator

Microsoft Tags: Scan It, View It

If you’ve wondered what the graphic below is that’s suddenly appearing throughout our print ads (with more to come), it’s a Microsoft Tag, and it makes new levels of content immediately available on your smart phone.

Okuma Citrix Video Tag

Scanning this tag on your smart phone will run our new Citrix baitcast reel product video.

Tags are two dimensional bar codes that allow an enormous amount of information to be stored in a compact format.  Their design is meant to be scanned by the camera on smart phones including  iPhones, Androids, Blackberrys and Windows Mobile among the group.  Before you can have fun with them, however, you need to know how to use them.

To get started, simply go to http://gettag.mobi on your web-enabled smart phone and download the Tag Reader.  Then when you see a tag, simply scan it to unlock content that allows you to interact with Okuma materials in new and exciting ways.  For example, most of our tags in print advertising will connect you to new product videos.  Rather than wait to get to a store to inquire about the features and specifications of a reel you’ve seen in an ad… just scan the tag and take a quick video tour!

Microsoft Tags are still in their infancy, with uses growing quickly in numerous and fascinating ways.  As we progress, we’ll continually look for new ways to allow you to get more from your experience with Okuma Fishing Tackle, with a goal of better fishing experiences every trip out.

Andros Video Microsoft Tag

This tag for the new Andros product video is rendered with what Microsoft calls their helper text.

Mark Romanack's Fishing 411 Now National

The Midwest is a sportsman’s paradise.

Mark Romanack with Largemouth Bass

Fishing 411 host Mark Romanack with a largemouth bass.

Through all four seasons of the year, anglers in the Upper Midwest  have the ability to chase a wide variety of game fish from small farm ponds to the big water of the Great Lakes.  For years now, we’ve sponsored Mark Romanack’s Fishing 411 television with the goal of increasing angler success and enjoyment within the local markets of the Upper Midwest.

As it happens when you have a host that cares about the viewers and delivering information that will positively impact their fishing, Mark Romanack’s Fishing 411 has gone national!  The show is now available on the Sportsman Channel at 8:30pm Saturday nights as part of the network’s Strike & Set Saturdays.  We’re excited for Mark and very happy to have another avenue for customers of Okuma Fishing Tackle to connect with the fisheries we all enjoy so much.

Fishing 411 centers on the bread basket fisheries of the Upper Midwest:  walleye, panfish, bass, trout, salmon, pike and musky.  The show provides the perfect platform to showcase the broad breadth of the Okuma product line from Trio spinning reels, to linecounters, to Citrix rods and reels and the technique-specific EVx rods.

Romanack’s format is educational, delivering not only the “where,” but the “how,” interspersed with helpful tips that will serve anglers well as they pursue similar opportunities in the fisheries local to them.

Marck Romanack with Great Lakes Salmon

Viewers of Fishing 411 will enjoy a wide range of the Upper Midwest's best fishing opportunities.

For news on upcoming shows, or to view past episodes, visit the Fishing 411 website at http://www.fishing411.net.